You’re congested because: You’ve got allergies
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“The lining of our nose is complex, and the increased blood flow that goes through the lining of the nose can lead to congestion,” explains Rachel Roditi, MD, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital specializing in otolaryngology. When something like pollen enters your nose, it can stimulate irritation. It’s this inflammation of the lining of your nose that produces the telltale stuffiness sensation of chronic nasal congestion. If you know you suffer from allergies and have a difficult time managing them, you may consider allergy shots. These natural allergy remedies also help provide relief.
You’re congested because: You rely on nasal decongestants
In an effort to clear your nose, you might be overusing nasal decongestant sprays like oxymetazoline, says Dr. Roditi. “These medications can be helpful for acute sinus infections, but it’s important you only use them for three days max,” she says. Using them longer than this can cause the membranes in your nose to become reliant on the medication, so they can’t relieve congestion on their own, contributing to even worse chronic nasal congestion. Here’s how you can relieve a stuffy nose naturally.